• Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam



The WdKA fashion department is proud to present our nominees for Lichting 2013: Maartje van Hooij and Katrien Baaij. Maartje calls herself a creator who can work in all fields of the fashion industry. She has successfully translated the current image driven society in a collection story on styling as the new lead in fashion. A concept that can be applied to all kinds of creative output. Katrien is one of the ‘’rare’’ thinkers you will find in the fashion field, her work is poetical en authentic. The way Katrien approaches menswear is fresh. Her vision open new routes for thought for the fashion industry.



The Willem de Kooning Academy started in 1773 as a drawing fellowship and developed over the course of time into an academy in the fields of Media, Art, Design and education; it is part of the Hogeschool Rotterdam. The painter Willem de Kooning (1904-1997) once remarked, ‘I have to change to stay the same’ and that is the motivation behind the educational programme.



We train the ‘designers behind the labels’. The emphasis lies on developing an individual vision and design signature. The central focus of the study is the development of future perspectives and their visualization in physical garments and/or collections where fashion designers apply their creative and critical vision to reflect on current developments in the profession and/or society as large.



Our teaching programme is pragmatic and we work with students to achieve a realistic image of their own abilities and the possibilities for applying them within the professional field. Technique and three-dimensional insight are naturally indispensable, but so is a professional approach to the field as well as learning to recognize that fashion is principally about visual communication, and how your own designs communicate. During the four years students spend in the fashion department, the supervisory team gains a good idea of the student’s capabilities and we encourage exchange programmes or work placements abroad.




We work together with students to create the best possible profile, establishing their strengths and weaknesses and providing guidance in this area. The goal is for the student to show his or her best side during the final exams. I would not recommend having your own label right away, for instance; it is far better for students to gain broad experience within the profession and start their own label afterwards.


Piece of Advice

Keep working on your portfolio and in particular your on-line presentations; let people see what you are doing.



The Netherlands needs an international podium for young fashion talent; we are good at what we do.


Gerrit Jan Vos

Course Director Fashion, The Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam


Brinkman 2007
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Kroon 2007
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van Dalen 2007
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Rooijakkers 2008
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van Deursen 2008
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de Kok 2009
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van Gemeren 2009
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Shah 2010
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Verhoeven 2010
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de Wit 2011
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Jan Metselaar 2011
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Putkaradze 2012
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Wering 2012
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Baaij 2013
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van Hooij 2013
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About Lichting

“The Lichting platform shows that diversity is our Dutch strength.”


Gerrit Jan Vos

Course Director Fashion, The Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam




contact and address


Rotterdam University

Blaak 10

3011 TA Rotterdam

The Netherlands


Contact Details

+31 (0)10 2414750